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Centenary SHS Alumnus Ellen Cliff - Rhodes Scholar

Minister for Education Kate Jones, Rhodes Scholar Ellen Cliff, Centenary SHS Principal John Brew
On Tuesday 15 August 2017, we were honoured to be visited by Education Minister Kate Jones and the 2017 Queensland Rhodes Scholar, Ellen Cliff, for the presentation of the Prince Albert Cup.

Ellen is a graduate of Centenary SHS, previously gaining success in the Sciences, Humanities and Arts during her education here, being Junior Dux in 2008 and Senior Dux in 2010. Ellen was passionate about both her academic work and also the co-curricular activities offered at Centenary SHS, being a back stage captain, choir member and school production performer. On graduating from Centenary SHS she took up a scholarship position at the Australian National University in Canberra and in 2016 she completed a Bachelor of Philosophy (Science) with Honours majoring in chemistry and with a minor in applied mathematics. Ellen completed her Honours in earth sciences focussing on ocean carbon cycles.

The Rhodes Scholarship is a postgraduate award supporting exceptional students from around the world to study at the University of Oxford. Each year, nine Rhodes Scholarships are awarded in Australia to people who display integrity, compassion and leadership and are committed to service and community. As a Rhodes Scholar, Ellen has enrolled in a Doctor in Philosophy (DPhil) in Earth Sciences looking at the effect of carbon dioxide emissions on southern ocean chemistry and biology. She chose to apply for the scholarship because she wanted to work with a “brilliant researcher at Oxford”.

Ellen returned to Centenary SHS to accept her award because she “wanted to be there to put a face to the name for the kids and to show them that you don’t have to go to a private school to get a scholarship anymore”. On talking about her time at Centenary SHS she said “one of the best things about Centenary SHS, apart from the dedicated teachers, is that it’s very diverse and I didn’t realise how valuable that was until I left.”

The Prince Albert Trophy was created in England in 1840, originally for Prince Albert. It was later purchased by a Queensland doctor for presentation to our secondary schools as a trophy and is held for a year by schools whose students win a Rhodes Scholarship. It will be on display at the front office for anyone who wishes to see it.